DBRL One Read film: Blue Collar


In conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library's One Read program, Ragtag presents a free screening and discussion of Paul Schrader's ferocious debut Blue Collar.

In this year's One Read selection, The Turner House, author Angela Flournoy delivers a dynamic portrait of a large Detroit family. Their experiences give us a glimpse into the complicated story of their hometown. To further illuminate that history, we're screening this angry, insightful 1978 drama about three Detroit autoworkers (Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto) who are fed up with their union. When they retaliate, they discover disturbing truths about their union, themselves and the system.

Ragtag's free ticket policy: Tickets to free events are available at our box office starting at 10am the day of the show. No more than four free tickets will be given to one person. A free ticket guarantees you a seat until 10 minutes before showtime, but not after. If all tickets have been distributed and there are open seats at 10 till, we will start seating the theater from the waiting list (queue). Ticket holders will continue to be admitted at this time if seats are available. This policy allows us to start on time and give the audience a distraction-free experience.

Post-screening discussion will be led by Dr. Avila Hendricks, professor at Lincoln University and Detroit native. Dr. Hendricks is the daughter of the Detroit auto-industry worker and grew up in a neighborhood near the area featured in The Turner House. Upon our request to lead this discussion Dr. Hendricks commented, "I am and always will be, a proud product of the City of Detroit. Hence, I'm looking forward to sharing my 'Motor City and Motown' roots with my Ragtag friends and the Columbia Community."

"A stunning debut. Pryor is a revelation. Blue Collar is about life on the Detroit assembly lines, and about how it wears men down and chains them to a lifetime installment plan. It is an angry, radical movie about the vise that traps workers between big industry and big labor. It's also an enormously entertaining movie; it earns its comparison with On the Waterfront. This isn't a liberal movie but a radical one, and one I suspect a lot of assembly-line workers might see with a shock of recognition. It took courage to make the movie that honest. But it also took a special filmmaking gift to make it burst with humor, humanity, and suspense as well." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

"For those who think Pryor was just a comedian, this is a revelation of a performance for him. Like Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, the director found a way to channel the anger beneath the surface of the comedian's routine, bringing it up unfiltered by the comic's defense mechanism of humor. It's funny for us in his standup, because we enjoy the sense of schadenfreude Pryor endorses with his delivery. In Blue Collar, Pryor makes us empathize to the point of excruciating pain." (Odie Henderson, Big Media Vandalism)